COACH Jong Uichico has a simple solution to Talk ‘N Text’s woes.
The favored Texters have found themselves two games behind Rain or Shine after back-to-back losses in the title series and hope make the adjustments to even things as they clash anew in Game Four on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Unlike the team’s first 16 games this conference, which saw Talk ‘N Text hold its opponents to just 92 points per contest, the Texters allowed Rain or Shine to average 112.5 in the last two matches.
“We just have to do better defensively. And we have to try something, try to take away some points off the boards on their scoring,” Uichico told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
Game time is at 7 p.m.
Uichico noted the task of defending better in the series won’t be easy.
“They (Elasto Painters) are a team that finds a way to score because at any given day, somebody can get lucky in their type of rotation,” he added, whose team will have to cntend with import Wayne Chism, Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood and even rookie Jericho Cruz, who can all knock down the shot both inside and outside.
Uichico, who is eyeing his ninth PBA title as a coach, explained that some quarters are being too hard on Johnson, who knocked Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee’s front tooth in Game Three while trying to go hard for the basket.
But the Talk ‘N Text mentor hopes people would understand that the 6-foot-7 American import is doing his best to keep his emotions in check despite the physical and at times, verbal abuse he gets in the series.
“For Ivan, there will be some emotions involved, but he’s also trying to keep his emotions in place despite the verbal abuse, if there is such and the physical abuse,” Uichico said, without dwelling on the specifics.
Uichico says Talk ‘N Text will just have to play through the physical series and hope that the referees will do their part in ensuring the Finals won’t be marred by any untoward incident.
“Physicality will always be there, but it depends on the call of the referees if they will allow it (physicality) or not,” explained the 52-year-old Uichico.